” Ek akeli ladki khuli tijori ki tarah hoti hai!”
Remember this line from Jab We Met, starring Kareena Kapoor? As a girl traveling back home, she misses her train and is stranded at a railway platform at night. When she seeks help from the station master, he cautions her with these wise words.
I was in splits (as was most of the cinema hall) over this dialogue and thoroughly enjoyed the repartee there. Today I was reminded of this line on a serious note when I was in a conversation exchange with my cab driver. I am a non-smoker and hate the smell of cigarette smoke. Seeing a No Smoking sign in my Uber, I asked my driver if that helped? He shrugged his shoulders and replied in a negative, claiming women passengers engage the most in this. And he avoid confrontation with them as a complaint by them would have serious repercussions for him.
I was shocked to hear that its not just smoking but drinking too thats the preferred habit of most of his female passengers. This got me thinking and I decided to ponder over why women are behaving so these days. Read on about a few of these instances that stuck me the most.
When three is a crowd
One late night he picked up a girl who had booked the cab in sharing mode. As luck would have it the next booking was done by a pair of gentlemen. The driver requested the girl to sit in front with him but she rudely asked him to not act smart with her. At the pickup, the two men got in the back, one on either side of her. When the driver protested and requested one of the men to sit in the front, the men snarled threat at him. From Connaught Place to Qutub Minar, these men molested the girl while she tried to get away from them. Once again the driver intervened and this time was threatened with dire consequences. Not knowing what else to do, he broke a red light when he spotted a PCR and stopped the car next to them.
The SHO on duty there thrashed the men soundly, even as they tried to bribe him. Then he made the driver cancel the booking (to avoid any more sharing request), handed the cabbie a 500/- note and asked him to drop the girl home. He also wanted to speak to her parents/guardians once she was dropped off. The girl cried the entire way home, apologizing for not listening to him. She lived in a PG and when the SHO spoke to the lady in charge, he warned her of a closure if she ever allowed girls out so late again.
I think the girl was blessed in having these two guardian angels around that night. I make it a point to sit in front with the driver whenever I opt for the pool mode.
Another incident was of a girl he picked from Hauz Khas on her way back home to Gurgaon at around midnight. She passed out in the back of the cab and when the driver reached the destination, he was unable to wake her. Not knowing which house is hers, he approached a PCR standing nearby for help. The cops allegedly asked him to deposit her on the pavement and head off. God bless this human being for not doing so. He slept in the front seat as the girl slumbered on in the backseat. Next morning she cried copious tears and apologized for inconveniencing him.
What if this guy was not such a gentleman? Or worse, if he had dropped her on the roadside? I so badly wanted to thrash this girl when I heard this story.
Dry day is such a pain
He told me about one girl he picked up from GK on a dry day in New Delhi, two days back. The booking was till Gurgaon as she needed to buy beer. She kept changing the route to the next liquor vend as and when her bottle got over. She did this thrice before heading back home. When the driver requested her to not drink in the cab, she told him to mind his own business.
This is not the first time I have heard such stories and it appears that women are trying on the “independent” label in this mode. I have heard cabbies mention similar stories of women picked up from late night shifts. They make them stop the cab at a liquor vend and then proceed to drink in the cab. Any protest from the drivers is met with a threat of a complaint.
Intrigued? Pin it for later!
I may call myself a strong feminist but I am in no doubts over the vulnerability of my sex. I remember doing plenty of shit in my twenties and thirties. But my self preservation instincts were always on a high. When I bought a car, the first thing to be installed in it was a central locking system. I started living independently and went through one thousand checks before finalizing a house. This was at a time when people were not keen to rent out to a single girl at all.
So when I hear such stories, I wonder at the self entitlement of today’s women. Do they think they are invincible or are they simply self destructive? With growing crimes against women, why aren’t these idiots more careful? Why would you want to be alone in a cab and drink? Is drinking so important? Is smoking and drinking the only way to project strength in a woman? I know films and TV are guilty of doing so but in real life do we girls really need to go looking for trouble?
I seriously wonder if we have taken this woman empowerment tad bit too far when I see such recklessness. What are your thoughts on this dear readers? Do you concur with my thoughts here or is there a perspective that I have missed out on?
Linking up with Corinne for #MondayMusings with this thought on the vulnerability of women
If women issues interests you, then perhaps this post might make for an intriguing read for you